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Paul Finch: A future in farming?

CABE chair Paul Finch was on robust form at last week’s AJ100 awards dinner at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London, when he talked about post-election prospects

He reminded the audience that CABE had undertaken more than 3,000 design reviews since 1999, had a satisfaction rate of more than 70 per cent from local planning authorities, and had enabled more than 650 projects, half of them major residential developments.

Whatever the future holds, CABE can always look at the legislation that made it statutory to give it guidance on its financial future. Weirdly, the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 gives CABE the power to ‘invite and accept financial assistance and gifts (financial or otherwise)’. As Finch said: ‘I have no idea what the parliamentary draftsmen had in mind, but I’m not sure the tone is quite right.’

Even more weirdly, the Act gives CABE copyright control over any seeds it may propagate. ‘Plant breeders’ rights’ apply not only to agricultural and horticultural products, but ornamental as well. Adolf Loos eat your heart out.

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